The MTSU Blue Raiders beat the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Saturday 50-47 in a 3 OT offensive shootout that saw more than 1,000 yards of total offense between both teams.
“I love close games because you find out so much about your team,” Head Coach Rick Stockstill said. “We were confident going in.”
The main force that powered the Blue Raider offense was quarterback Austin Grammer. He ran for three touchdowns and threw for another. Grammer rushed for 125 and threw for 218.
“Austin played a good game,” said Stockstill. “He played a good game, and we didn’t have any turnovers. I’m proud of him.”
Western Kentucky had their way with the Blue Raider defense despite the win. The Hilltoppers totaled 718 yards offense, mostly behind quarterback Brandon Doughty completing 43-of-66 passes for 593 yards.
“That’s probably the best offense we’ve played in a long time,” Stockstill said. “Give a lot of credit to Western Kentucky.”
The win got the Blue Raiders off to a 2-1 start to the season and a 1-0 record in Conference-USA play. The Blue Raiders now shift their focus to Memphis.
“I love celebrating big wins,” said Stockstill.” It’s time to move on. We won’t have a hangover from Western Kentucky.”
MTSU leads the overall series 17-8-1. The Blue Raiders won 17-15 in last year’s game at Floyd Stadium.
“I love this game,” said Stockstill. “We don’t get to play too many in-state teams, and we love competing against them.”
Memphis is coming off of a 42-35 loss to the then, 11th-ranked UCLA Bruins on Sep. 6. Tigers’ quarterback Paxton Lynch played well, competing 27-of-41 passes for 305 yards and a touchdown while running for another one.
“Their quarterback is doing a nice job of distributing the ball,” said Stockstill. “This will be another four-quarter game.”
After all big wins, there are concerns that there could be a letdown in the next game. The Blue Raiders are sure this will not happen to them against Memphis.
“It was fun Saturday, but this is a week-to-week job,” offensive lineman Isaiah Anderson said. “You prepare mentally for a tough game. It’s another game we have to go play.”
The game will be at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. It will kickoff at 6:00 PM on ESPN 3.
For more Blue Raider sports, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Sport
To contact Sports editor Connor Grott, email firstname.lastname@example.org